Tikolo, Karim to captain sides in Clash of the Legends

Steve Tikolo (left) and Aasif Karim who will captain the teams during ‘Clash Of The Legend’ match at Sikh Union in Nairobi on Sunday. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO

NAIROBI, Kenya- It is no doubt that Kenya’s game has been on a downward spiral since the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011.

Even before that, the country struggled to take the sport back to its glorious days, like the 2003 World Cup, the first in Africa co-hosted by Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, where Kenya sparkled and danced on top of the world by reaching the historic semis finals.

It is these nostalgic memories that are now pushing former cricket greats like Aasif Karim, Brij Patel, the Obuyas, the Sujis, the Ngoches, the Odoyos and the Tikolos to come out of the woods to inject motivation and inspiration into the game.

Veterans in training ahead of the ‘Clash Of The Legends’ match at Sikh Union in Nairobi on Sunday. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO

The veterans want to turn around the sport, and into the right direction. It is on this note that they will be taking part in an epic match this weekend dubbed ‘Clash of the Legends’.

The Kenya Legends T20 match will be held on Sunday noon at the Sikh Union Grounds in Nairobi. The expected mouthwatering duel has been made possible with the support of several sponsors including Radio FM 44, Nairobi Sports House, Filmline Limited and Bank of Baroda.

Others on board are Red Star Enterprises Limited, Sunshine Travel and Tours, Zayan Agencies Limited and Suvi Racing.

Former Kenya skippers Steve Tikolo and Karim will captain the two sides. Tikolo will steer Team Red that has dreaded former hard-hitters like David Obuya, Joseph Angara, Tony Suji, Sudhir Solanki, Rajab Ali, Peter Ongondo among others.

Karim, who was flawless in both cricket and tennis in his hey-days, will head Team Green that has sensational Maurice Odumbe, Morris Ouma, Lamech Ngoche, Thomas Odoyo, Rajesh Budiya, Kennedy Obuya, Nehemiah Ngoche among others.

Organising team behind the ‘Clash Of The Legends’ match at Sikh Union in Nairobi on Sunday. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO

” This will be hard cricket blended with proffesionalism, you know the way we used to do it,” Tikolo explained during the launch at Sikh Union on Wednesday night.

“I have been hitting some balls at the training in Ruaraka and I feel my fitness is OK, so far I have been at par with exercises even upon retirement several years ago,” he stated.

Tikolo confirmed his batting is in order but fears he might be let down by speed due to age factor that is slowly creeping in.

“The shots are still there, what I’m not sure is the pace for the runs,” underlines Tikolo who is currently the Nigeria national team head coach. Tikolo reiterated that Kenya’s game is not well at the moment and needs a great booster.

Aasif Karim (right) with sponsors ahead of the Clash of the Legends match at Sikh Union in Nairobi on Sunday. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO

“It’s upon the legends to help in taking the sport back to the people. As former players, we are going to sit down, put our heads together and see how we take the game back to its glorious days,” Tikolo emphasised.

Karim hailed the coming clash saying it was long overdue. He said the match is all about the future of the country as it is going to motivate the youngsters who will be present to watch the legends do their thing on the pitch.

” It’s great to bring back the past cricketers together, some of us have not met for a very long time, I’m looking forward to meeting my former colleagues and teammates, playing with them, chatting and see what comes out of it.

” From this meeting, we will storm ideas and see how to promote the sport in the country, because right now our game is on a free fall,” said Karim.

Ahead of the match, Karim says he is as fit as fiddle despite the old age. “Even upon retirement, I have been abreast with training, I have kept myself so well, I think this game will be won by mental toughness rather than physical,” Karim said.

Those who have been part of the organising team for the historic inaugural clash of the legends include Chidambaran Subramanian, Kamaljeeth Singh, Kalpesh Solanki among others.

Some of the veterans who will feature in the ‘Clash Of The Legends’ match at Sikh Union in Nairobi on Sunday. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO

Subramanian said the game is going to inspire upcoming players in the age brackets of U15, 16 and 19 categories.

“We are confident the young players are going to benefit a lot from the veterans. I also thank sponsors who have come on board to make this match possible,” underlined Subramanian who also confirmed the winners and runners up prizes for the match, including other individual categories.

The Kenya Legends T20 Squads

Team Red

1. Steve Tikolo (Captain)

2. David Obuya

3. Rajab Ali

4. Andrew Boya

5. Hrien

6. E. Otieno

7. Joseph Angara

8. Brij Patel

9. Peter Ongondo

10. Tony Suji

11. Josephat Irungu

12. Alfred Njuguna

13. Sudhir Solanki

Team Green

1. Aasif Karim (Captain)

2. Kennedy Obuya

3. Rajesh Budiya

4. Alpesh Vadher

5. Ravindu Shah

6. Nehemiah Ngoche

7. Thomas Odoyo

8. Lamech Ngoche

9. Maurice Odumbe

10. Zafir

11. David Tikolo

12. David Asiji

13. Morris Ouma

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